Home>Campaigns>At eviction protection bill signing, Stack tells Murphy he’d ‘knock down a wall’ for him

Gov . Phil Murphy with Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack at a bill signing in Union City on August 4, 2021. (Photo: YouTube).

At eviction protection bill signing, Stack tells Murphy he’d ‘knock down a wall’ for him

Union City was one of Murphy’s top vote-producing towns in 2017

By David Wildstein, August 04 2021 2:39 pm

With the help of Brian Stack’s organization, Phil Murphy received 91% of the vote in Union City when he ran for governor four years ago – one of his top-producing municipalities in the state.

Now it looks like Stack is aiming to grow the governor’s 2017 numbers as he seeks a second term this year.

“I’d knock down a wall for you and I mean that,” Stack told Murphy today.

Stack, the mayor of Union City and a Hudson County state senator, made his comments at a event in his hometown where Murphy signed a bill that would provide $750 million for eviction prevention and utility assistance for renters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I can’t say enough about the leadership of Governor Murphy – his smart and caring leadership.  He’s an intelligent man, but what’s more important is that Governor Murphy has a tremendous heart for the poor people and for the working people,” said Stack.  “I get chills when I say that – it means the world to me.”

In 2017, Union City delivered the third-highest total votes as a percentage of its registered voters, just behind Maplewood and Montclair.

With Stack’s endorsement, Republican Gov. Chris Christie received 59% of the vote in Union City in 2013.   Murphy received 10,808 votes  — 4,155 more than Christie — four years later, with Stack’s help.

A new early voting law potentially helps Stack push the envelope on Union City turnout in a gubernatorial year.  Joe Biden received 14,475 votes there last year, and Bob Menendez got 13,204 when he ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2018.

Eviction protection is a huge issue in a place like Union City and passage of the new law could help Stack generate some added enthusiasm.

“This bill is going to direct money to the people and programs that need it most,” Murphy said.  “Housing and access to utilities are fundamental to human health and safety and we want to ensure that as many eligible applicants impacted by the pandemic get the help they need during this challenging time.”

Stack and Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange) led the charge to pass the new law, which effectively extends the state’s eviction moratorium through the end of the year for some New Jersey residents.

The bill passed with no opposition.

“We had tremendous bi-partisan support on the bill,” Stack said.  “Everyone came together on this.”
Stack said New Jersey should be a national model for eviction protection.

“The governor leads by example, and if the country would only follow, what New Jersey is doing today under the governor’s leadership, we’d be better off for it,” he said.

Senate President Steve Sweeney called the bill “a wise use of federal funds to address two of the most serious threats caused by the pandemic.”

“This measure provides a lifeline to people who need it most at a time of real crisis. It will help prevent renters from losing the safety and security of their homes and allow landlords to continue to maintain their properties in a safe and secure way,” said Steve Sweeney.  “It’s real eviction prevention because it backs up housing protections with finances, so tenants aren’t burdened with debt and landlords aren’t forced into bankruptcy.”

The new law will be administered by the Department of Community Affairs, which is headed by Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver.

“I’m aware of the daily struggle that people are facing in finding and keeping housing and our team at DCA is prepared to continue to administer housing and utility assistance to them,” Oliver stated.  “I’m in full support of the actions laid out in this bill package to make their lives easier as we financially recover from the pandemic.”

Along with Stack and Timberlake, primary sponsors of the bill were State Sens. Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), Troy Singleton (D-Delran), Ronald Rice (D-Newark), and Assembly members Benjie Wimberly (D-Paterson), Angela McKnight (D-Jersey City) and Shanique Speight (D-Newark).

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